StepChange appoints new head of strategic relationships

StepChange Debt Charity has appointed Vanessa Northam, previously head of external affairs at Tully, part of the Openwrks Group, as its new head of strategic relationships.

She will join the charity on 3 February, reporting to Vikki Brownridge, Director of Charity Development. Vanessa and her team will be responsible for managing and developing existing and new relationships between the charity and its partners. Around 900 organisations currently support the charity in some way.

Vanessa has an extensive background in developing practical approaches between organisations and vulnerable customers. At Tully, she has been responsible for creating a host of new relationships, across multiple sectors and in addition, ensuring the development of Tully fully supports vulnerable consumers.

Vanessa’s previous roles have included leading E.ON’s UK vulnerable customer programme, as well as roles within EDF Energy, Capital One Bank, and a year in consultancy advising organisations across the financial services and utility sectors on the needs of vulnerable customers.

Phil Andrew, CEO of StepChange, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Vanessa, whose experience will provide us with fresh new ways of delivering efficiency benefits to our strategic partners, while keeping the interests of our clients firmly front and centre.

“Vanessa’s fintech experience will enhance our ability to build partnerships with organisations such as OpenWrks/Tully to develop more engaging ways to work with our clients and partners.”

Vanessa Northam said: “I’m excited to be joining StepChange at a time when the charity is on the cusp of reaping the benefits of technology improvements, both in how we will partner with organisations to deliver an outstanding service, and in terms of internal transformation and efficiency. With so many people out there needing debt help, good partnerships are part of the key to unlocking efficiency and the ability to help more people.”